In Twilight Breaking Dawn, Edward and Bella venture to Brazil to honeymoon on the isle of Esme, which doesn’t actually exist. Where they actually went was Paraty, Brazil, a colonial town and blossoming vacation retreat halfway in between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Specifically, they went to a beachfront house in Saco do Mamanguá, a tropical fjord, which even you too can rent.
At Paraty, Brazil’s Academy of Cooking and Other Pleasures, chef Yara Castro Roberts and her photographer husband Richard (authors of the Brazilian recipe book The Brazilian Table) teach travelers to prepare four course dinners based each night on a different region of Brazil. One of Yara’s signature dishes is Trouxinha… Read More →
A few hours’ drive down the coast from Rio, more or less midway to São Paulo, is Paraty (also spelled Parati), one of Brazil’s greatest colonial treasures: a cluster of whitewashed villas on a bay dotted with paradise islands and backed by steaming jungle-clad mountains. Historically, Paraty was one of… Read More →
I was in the Brazilian Amazon not long ago and on my plate, stuck into a piece of decoration fruit, was this little, pea sized, yellow bean. I thought it was a piece of the fruit and poked the bean on my fork and put it into my mouth, chewed, and swallowed. It was fragrant, a little fruity, and then the earth shattered and my head exploded. Within seconds I was choking and tears were flowing out of my eyes. It took about ten minutes to recover. Seriously that hot. I had to ask the waitress how you were supposed to eat it. She explained that you just sort of squeeze it with your fork and get a tiny bit of the juice on it and then mix it in whatever you were eating to add some spice (in my case it was fish and rice).
Last year, while enjoying chef Roland Villard’s incredible Amazônia Menu at Le Pré Catelan in Rio de Janeiro’s Sofitel hotel, I heard rumblings that the chef was working on a similar tasting menu comprising of the most common Brazilian ingredients: rice and beans. I just received word that the menu is now being served in the restaurant.